Where are they all coming from?
'BRAND NEW' old bikes seem to be emerging from long-term investment storage at an ever faster rate – suggesting either that the market for the very best classic bikes is on the up or that collectors are feeling the pinch and need to recoup the cash they've got stored in zero-mile bikes.
A quick scan of eBay reveals a whole crop of unridden machines that are 10, 20 or even 30 years old, all with astronomical prices. Begging the question: what do you do with a zero-mile classic? Use it and the value is instantly slashed. Don't use it and you'll never experience the pleasure that surely inspired you to buy the thing in the first place.
Here are some of the current offerings:
1: Honda NR750
Any NR750 is worth a fortune, so the fact the owner is asking £129,995 for this zero-mile one is no surprise.
But since it would be a crime to even start that glorious oval-pistoned engine, for fear of devaluing this factory-fresh example, where's the pleasure? The vendor says he'll get it registered, MOT'd and taxed once its sold, but even doing that would surely slash its 'brand new' value?
2: Ducati Desmosedici RR
There's always been a sneaking suspicion that a large proportion of Desmosedici RRs were bought to be snaffled away in collections rather than ridden, and as-new ones come on the market fairly regularly. The vendor's asking £65k, which is nearly twice what a similar machine with only 1400 miles is going for.
3: Honda RC45
At £38k this unregistered, zero-mile RC45 costs about as much as a low mileage Desmosedici RR. Obviously it's immaculate, but you could get a high-miles one for £15k or less and you wouldn't feel any guilt about using it.
4: Honda RC30
Same dealer, same story, but this time it's an RC30 in time-warp condition. Oh to be a lottery winner, just to get the 'new RC30' experience and not worry about the fact that its value will be slashed once you've taken it down the road.
5: Ducati MHR 900
It wouldn't be too surprising to find one of the early 2000s Ducati MH900e machines in zero-miles condition, but that's not what this is. This is the bike that inspired that Pierre Terblanche-designed machine – the original MHR 900 dating back to 1983.
The 3km on the clock has presumably come from being wheeled about occasionally over the last 28 years. Surely it's unique? Compared to the other 'new' bikes, its £20k price seems surprisingly reasonable, since there's another with 22,000 on the clock on sale for £15k.
6: Ducati MH900e
Told you there would be a new MH900e on sale...
7: Mondial Piega
A what? Yep the Mondial Piega made a brief splash in the bike press a few years ago, but disappeared without trace – until now. Notable for using Honda SP1 engines (it was quite a coup for Mondial to sign a deal to get that motor from Honda) the Piega was quite a looker, too. Brand new, despite dating back to around 2003, it doesn't seem too bad at £17,940
But what do you think? Is storing a rare bike from new a crime to the spirit of a machine designed to be used or a service to future generations? And what would you do with one if you bought it?
Posted: 22/11/2011 at 16:50
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Posted: 25/11/2011 at 09:35
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